[rant] I messed up and now Tivo is ripping me off

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by eisenb11, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. chedlin

    chedlin TiVo Addict

    Apr 13, 2003
    Austin, TX


    5 months seems a bit cold and I am sure accounting and recognition of revenue comes into play, but I think I understand the initial 3 moth provision.

    After 120 days a credit card transaction is pretty much final. It won't be charged back, and it can't be refunded by the merchant. I work with customer accounts in my company, and I can pretty much do anything within our systems, but our merchant account won't let us arbitrarily credit accounts. I can only post refunds against previous transactions that are less than 120 days old, and the total of the refunds can not exceed the original transaction (even by a penny, and requiring code to carefully detect and correct rounding issues).

    We have issued refunds going further back in cases just like what the poster described, but it dealt with more money, and we had to issue a check.

    At this point your only recourse to go over the 5 months you have been offered would be small claims court. You could get the filing fees and all, but TiVo is gambling it isn't worth your time to sue them over the $60 difference.
  2. DJHall

    DJHall New Member

    Nov 20, 2003
    Sorry to hear this happened to you.

    I have had some experience with this both ways. The credit card company doesn't want to be responsible for refunding a year's worth of mistakes to you becasue you didn't keep track of your bill and let them know about it at the beginning. I've been around that track a few times with customers and old internet services or webhosting services that never stopped billing. I've never seen a company go back more than 4 months or so when the only factors were a merchant's mistake and the customer's failure to catch it. It makes it hard for both the merchant and the CC issuer if their isn't a clear cut off date where they only fix serious frauds or breaches of contract and not just run of the mill screwups.

    On the other hand, American Express retroactively went back 2 years and refunded every single charge a wireless internet service company charged my father even though we told them the service was fine for the first 6 months to a year and we had signed a two year contract. We had called wireless company and reported regular service outages for 6 months, then requested cancellation for 6 months, and finally turned to American Express for assistance. The WISP didn't answer any telephone calls, return any voice mails, or respond to any letters from Amex for over 4 months, so they nailed them with a chargeback of all charges for the entire contract and terminated their merchant account.

    It can happen, but I doubt your CC company will see the 5 month compromise offer from TiVo as unreasonable.
  3. DJHall

    DJHall New Member

    Nov 20, 2003
    IANAL, but for all the people who are saying that charging the card after the cancellation request or after the expiration of their authority to do so equals fraud... IIRC establishing fraud requires also establishing an element of intent. Establishing inent would require you to provide evidence that TiVo either intentionally failed to process cancellation requests or that they knew, or should have known, their cancellation process would fail to process cancellation requests and they did not make reasonable efforts to fix it.

    I would think it would be dificult to establish intent in these cases. Lacking intent, and therfore fraud, you would have to fall back on the agreement, or terms of service, between you and TiVo, which usually contains a clause limiting their liability for such events to a reasonable period of time for you to discover the mistake and report it to them.

    I'm not saying I agree with that or I think it is the "right" or "ethical" thing to do, but I am fairly confident it is legal. You could try a small claims court judge. Many of them are willing to set aside the legal disclaimers contained in service agreements that no one but the company lawyers have ever read and rule on the basis of fairness, but I wonder if it is worth the time and further aggrivation you will put yourself through to pursue it.
  4. ThreeSoFar'sBro

    ThreeSoFar'sBro Sports Nut

    Oct 10, 2004
    Macomb Twp., MI
    Here's an update on my case:

    I was told 8/11/08 that I'd be receiving a $336 credit as I was continually billed for the old Series 1 that had died. Today I was told that my credit was denied.

    Today I spoke to "Tom R." at the Colorado call center. He identified himself as a supervisor, after I asked to speak to the original operator's supervisor. I asked Tom if it was SOP to NOT inform a customer that their promised credit was denied. Tom R. told me that is their normal procedure. After 35 minutes on hold, and then after speaking to two individuals that didn't seem to care, I cannot explain just how upset I am. I've spent thousands on TiVo hardware, $600 on lifetime memberships, and recommended them to numerous people (including one today!). That stops now.

    I believe in the product. The customer service is ABSOLUTELY ridiculous.

    If anyone here can help my cause, I'd appreciate it. It's not the money at this point, it's that I hate to be lied to--something my parents instilled in me. UGH!

    EDIT: BBB complaint #294740 filed tonight.
  5. Crrink

    Crrink Active Member

    Sep 2, 2002
    Austin, TX


    The BBB is powerless to help consumers, in my experience. The FTC and your state's Attorney General are much more likely to help you resolve this issue. You can file an FTC complaint online in minutes, and you can do the same with CA's AG - your state may be similar.

    If you're willing to take the time to file, a small claims suit would likely result in the fastest remedy - a friend of mine did this when The Good Guys refused to honor an extended warranty claim. He received a phone call to settle the issue within a few days of filing in Small Claims Court.
  6. timckelley

    timckelley run of the mill TCFer

    Oct 15, 2002
    This thread disappoints me in TiVo customer service.

    My experience has been opposite. They've generously given me more more than they were required to give me*, so I've always had a high opinion of them. This thread is disillusioning.

    * they once allowed me to transfer my life time sub from my broken S1 to a brand new TiVoHD I bought, even though they didn't have to.
  7. samo

    samo New Member

    Oct 7, 1999
    BBB is not going to do you any good. All they can do is to ask the company to negotiate with you. And all company has to do is to write letter to you and BBB stating the policy on the subject to have a claim marked as resolved.
    Your best choice is small claims court. Tivo will bump it regular court to scare you off, but do not worry - you do not have to have an attorney even in regular court. If they don't settle before trial date, just have all the documentation ready and there is 99% chance that you will win.
  8. ClubrhythmEnt

    ClubrhythmEnt New Member

    Apr 2, 2003
    Sacramento, CA
    Regardless of what your previous employers may have told you it is illegal in certain states for any party, commercial or private, to record telephone conversations without two-party notification. I'm not an attorney but I do work full time in law enforcement in California and have personally testified against people who have done this. Federal law requires only one-party notification but 9 states require two-party notification. Since people on this Forum hail from all over the country I think it’s prudent that I clear this issue up.

    The federal Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, 18 U.S.C. Sec. 2510 et seq., prohibits the willful interception of telephone communication by means of any electronic, mechanical, or other device without an applicable exemption. There are two principal exceptions:

    Consent: In the absence of more restrictive state law, it is permissible to intercept and record a telephone conversation if one or both of the parties to the call consents. Consent means authorization by only one participant in the call; single-party consent is provided for by specific statutory exemption under federal law. 18 U.S.C. Sec. 2511(2)(d).

    "Business telephone" exception
    The "business telephone" exception, which generally allows monitoring of calls and taping over an extension phone which is both provided to a subscriber in the ordinary course of a telephone company's business and is being used by that subscriber in the ordinary course of its business. This provision generally permits businesses to monitor the conversations of their employees, including personal conversations.

    Penalties: The federal statutes provide criminal penalties for unlawful interception of telephone conversations, including up to five years' imprisonment or a maximum of $10,000 in fines. They also allow for civil remedies, by which private parties are entitled to recover actual and punitive damages, together with fees and costs.

    While the U.S. federal law only requires one-party consent, many states have accepted different laws. In some states all parties must give their consent or at least be notified that the call is about to be recorded (with necessary opt-out option: if you don’t like them to record the call, you can ask them to stop recording). There also was a case law decision from many years ago (the 1950's) that went to the Supreme Court and affirmed that the federal law does not supersede state authority/statutes unless the call or the tap crosses state lines – that is why each state went ahead and established their own guideline/statute.

    States Requiring One Party Notification :

    District Of Columbia
    Kentucky Louisiana
    New Jersey
    New Mexico
    New York
    North Carolina
    North Dakota
    Oklahoma Oregon
    Rhode Island
    South Carolina
    South Dakota
    West Virginia

    States Requiring Two Party Notification:

    Florida Massachusetts
    Montana New Hampshire
  9. samo

    samo New Member

    Oct 7, 1999
    Interesting. So what happens if I call TiVo support in California from Colorado?
    Does Colorado law (one party consent) or California Law (both parties consent) apply? Or does Federal Law apply since call crosses state lines?
  10. ThreeSoFar'sBro

    ThreeSoFar'sBro Sports Nut

    Oct 10, 2004
    Macomb Twp., MI
    Another Update:

    A member of TiVo's executive response team called me yesterday. He apologized, and offered me the correct credit right off the bat. I told him that is what should have been done back in the summer, when this first came up. He agreed. I told him that my fear is that TiVo's poor customer service will be the death of TiVo. He explained that there are two new call centers, and training is slow to get to everyone. I don't get it--even McDonald's won't open a store until all are trained. Hopefully this will be fixed soon. I also hope that the credit actually appears--I've been promised by TiVo before, to no avail.

    SPECIAL NOTE TO TIVOJERRY: thanks for your offer of assistance. If the credit doesn't appear, I may be calling on you in the future!

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